I always found schooling, be it writing, speaking, singing, (or any form of expressing that was asked of me in this context), to be super squashing.
It was like because I was so present and ‘in my body’, there was this great big picture I felt that went out to the furthest star and yet totally glowed from within me equally – but I was being asked to shrink this vastness, or broadness, into this very (very, very, very – and here I could write a page or two of very’s) thin line, this itty bitty limited little box, with rules to adhere to in order to be ‘valid’ or ‘accepted’.
There were boxes to tick that were made all-important, and from which our very worth was measured and compared, even though it seemed so irrelevant in the context of what I felt all around me.
This so-called intelligence and its measurement in particular, was a notion shunned by me at an early age.
Squashing the Big Picture – “Intelligence” – And what’s Really Going on..?
Through primary school I was likely to be found staring out the window, or be the one to ask the teacher all those questions they just couldn’t answer – because they were standing in that thin narrow line (that we call intelligence) and had left what they too knew and felt and lived as a child.
I felt a majesty in the world, in nature, in all people and in me, and a kind of transparency of the value and seeming limitation and narrowness of what we were taught and asked to regurgitate on cue – all to make someone else, parents or teachers, look good.
After hearing about me staring out of the classroom window, asking bigger picture questions, bringing cocoons or freshly uncurling fern fronds onto my desk and similar, some of the adults in my life became concerned that I was not ticking the ‘intelligence markers’ and so I was booked in for ‘intelligence testing’… at about 10 years of age.
After weeks of detailed rigorous (narrow and highly controlled) testing, my ‘scores’ were tallied up and I was marked within the top .01% of the global population for my age group.
Some of the adults got very excited about official certification with one of the large global IQ organisations, which I more than qualified for, but definitely did not want to be a part of – much to the surprise and bemusement of the adults involved, who felt it would ‘open doors’ and ‘set me up for life’.
It felt all wrong, totally upside down, and I actively refused for my results to be submitted for membership of such an organisation.
Granted, I was in a tad of a reaction and felt that being able to complete the kinds of questions I had was no measurement of anything with any true value or meaning.
I felt that a lived connection with my body and the beauty that surrounded us was being totally shunned in favour of a dis-connected mental capacity alone. At a time a so-called outer value was being celebrated, what mattered most to me seemed more invisible than ever.
I was also not into being labelled, approved of, or ‘singled out’ on the basis of something that felt so false and narrow, much the same way that I was so not into seeing kids at school ever being measured or labelled as ‘less than’ due to their different expression or way of going about things.
This is what one of the key IQ organisations has to say of their purpose:
‘To identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity’
To my present understanding, ‘intelligence’, as in IQ that I was tested for and graded by, is primarily from the head, which is the thin pocket or narrowed line I was feeling as being so limited and cut off from the greater, vaster whole.
I find it amazing that we can tell ourselves that living life from within a limited pocket, cut off from the vastness of what is actually available to us (and so from our own bodies), can ever be said to be ‘for the benefit of humanity’ when its very premise is on inequality, separation and even supremacy – and an adherence to its requirements could surely not be a whole and balanced way to live, and so perhaps not actually a healthy thing to encourage: no benefits for humanity in sight.
The notion of ‘being better than others’ creates separation and comparison between people – with a not too small dose of arrogance in being identified with what we do and not who we actually divinely are.
Even ‘identify intelligence’ is a great big farce – meaning measuring some limited little boxes that can be fulfilled… and all based on what to me was feeling like a total mis-definition of what ‘intelligence’ even was.
To the huge credit of the adults in my life, although my perspective genuinely made no sense to where they were at, my clear wish was respected – and no official certification went ahead. So with primary school ‘successfully’ fare-welled, on I went to a boarding school of my choice.
‘Coping’ with the Narrow Line…?
So how did I now interface with the demands of that limiting thin line – whilst still not being able to deny the way everything, in my experience, was connected, overlapping, related, in spheres – with no actual thin lines to be seen, only created?
My approach was that I attempted to stay with the bigger picture by working it through the system. So in year 8, for example, I undertook surveys and experiments on girls’ body image perceptions and ran that alongside and compared to the measured facts of their BMI (body mass index): needless to say there was a huge gap revealed between the two.
I wrote speeches on the ‘sixth sense’, and other such examples, all whilst getting A grades, so ticking the boxes, without so much compromising the greater whole I was aware of, or isolating one science or discipline from another as was the expectation and norm.
Later through university, (Social Science and Women’s Studies), this struggle with interfacing with the thin line amplified. The boxes of ‘acceptable thought’ ever narrowed – there were ‘answers’ presented for human behaviours that felt like limited pockets, narrowed linear thought and contradictory perspectives that were debated endlessly with no terminal point of unity that depicted when ‘the answer’ was actually reached.
Now interestingly, looking back pondering, had I at this stage been at university not expecting to find any answers, but simply to gain a piece of paper and a few practical skills, to take myself out to the world and commit to life and work, I imagine things could have been much easier.
Looking back I suspect I was actually at university seeking a ‘get out of committing to life early’ excuse and confirmation that the world was ‘all wrong’ and I would later withdraw from life into ‘alternative lifestyles’ – and give up on bringing me, and the broader awareness I naturally held to the world; but that is another story.
At University, I found it difficult to think in the way that was demanded; to think in pockets, restrict thought to one discipline or perspective at a time, and not interlink or certainly not to bring any lived experience, but only to quote previous others who all lived from the thin line and in their heads.
Throughout my time at university I would write assessments from within the confines of the box-ticking and try to add to them the bigger picture. The tension between my broad awareness and the narrow confinement of academic ‘intelligence’ became quite intense – and my choice then was to go all out to dull down the awareness, so that the ache of it not being seemingly isolated would not be so great.
Pot became a huge feature, as a coping mechanism for the isolation I felt; a fairly conscious strategy to ‘take myself out’ and not feel the tension of knowing there was more.
Returning to true intelligence
Fast forward around 25 or so years of foggy shut down living and I am finally coming full circle back – re-allowing the surround sound knowing to begin to re-ignite, wake up, dust off the cobwebs and begin to become part of my natural daily landscape again.
I am now fine with attending courses to support me with the purpose of bringing who I am out to the world – in a commitment to being part of the world and not hiding from it as I have.
I understand that for now, it is still pretty topsy turvy out there, and I am letting go of the need for it to be otherwise. I still get great grades, but they do not define me.
I found that when I write – unrestrained, and allowing of re-connection – from the vastness I once so naturally felt but had worked so, so hard to shun, the writing that results can sometimes offer a greater awareness of the many things in life that trick us into leaving our greatest supports.
My tussle with the limiting or reducing of these dimensions has however continued, truncating my expression in a variety of settings, editing out threads of writing to reduce them to one more ‘easy to follow’ and ‘structured’ piece. As I see this playing out, I am learning to confirm the value in writing, speaking and singing from our all. I was imagining recently how I would approach editing out threads and aspects of a written piece if it were actually music.
It’s interesting with writing – that we tend to chop back to one aspect – and I was imagining how much less likely this might perhaps be for a song writer for example to just include the vocals and guitar in the final mix for example, editing out the piano, drums and violin.
Reflecting on all this has given me pause to consider just how fooled we are by so called intelligence, by whether we are measured as great or not so great at ticking those boxes. I reflected on my recovery from the labelling with intelligence and supposedly ‘having it’ – and realised there are folks who have also been labelled by this curse, but in a way of being labelled as ‘not having it’.
A very dear and amazing woman friend (a kind of pen pal actually) is someone whose support I so value as she is absolutely amazing at expressing and speaking straight from a heavenly well of practical lived intelligence.
Every time she speaks it’s so ‘everyday’, and yet has the magnificence of something so much grander behind and through her every word. When I hear her speak my whole being knows beyond doubt that This is intelligence – this connectedness with realness and living.
The gems she shares are like drops of gold, and describing them as ‘pearls of wisdom’ barely comes close to describing what it feels like when she speaks from that connection.
There is a lived authority, a spacious clarity – and an immense ‘pulling up’ power in her every naturally spoken and written word. And yet – get this – at school she was told she did not measure up to ‘intelligence’… did not tick the boxes ‘right’ and was branded as being ‘less’. This is the defining travesty of a very, very unintelligent ‘intelligence’.
When we ordinary everyday heavenly folk reclaim our connection to and express from the vastness I knew and breathed as a child, it will be inspiring beyond measure, breaking down all the barriers we have put up to contain and shrink from what we all deeply know.
As children equality was it, and this was not read in a book, or written on a blackboard, (or read on the internet or smart board) but known in our bodies, the trees, birds, and people all had a flow and there was no separation or difference other than that which we later learned and took on.
Had it not been for the support, true wisdom and divine intelligence of Serge Benhayon, I would no doubt still be amongst the lost. So here is to Serge Benhayon, and this dear woman, and all like them, re-claiming our natural expression of the true intelligence we are all innately from.
By Kate Burns, Dip Social Welfare, BA (Hons), Dip Business Admin, Bellingen, Australia